Another Year Older. Am I Any Wiser?

No, it’s not my birthday.  I just had my one year anniversary as a Blogger.  What have I learned?  What have I accomplished?  Has it been worth it?

What have I learned?  A lot.  And nothing.  I’ve learned that blogging is extremely time consuming.  I’ve learned that, with my type of blog, it is very difficult to make an income.  I’ve learned that writing can be therapeutic, and perhaps that was the point for me from the start.

I have not learned how to create the level of traffic I would like, while maintaining a full-time job and mothering two young children.  I’ve learned that I have no idea which posts will be popular and which will not.

What have I accomplished?  I’ve been asked to write for an online magazine, and I’ve been featured as a guest on a number of my peer’s blogs.  I’ve managed to help some people by being open about my struggles with anxiety, the challenges of parenting, and facing aging as an older mother of young kids.  I’ve made real friends and started my own blogging group.  I’ve figured out how to share my personal experiences without sharing too much about the people close to me (I think.  No one has expressed upset with anything I’ve shared anyway.  Although . . . come to think of it, I have later deleted a couple of posts that seemed questionable . . . ).

Has it been worth it?  Well, let’s think about what the cost has been.  There is a financial cost to a blog.  There is a time commitment.  It’s definitely cost me hours of sleep over the last year.  The writing part, while time consuming, is not as demanding as the promotion and networking.  It’s cost me my peace if mind, at times.

What have I gained?  Some confidence in my writing.  I’ve been given some affirmation that sharing experiences and thoughts can be beneficial to others.  I’ve learned that I am capable of creating something fresh, new and unique.

I’ve decided to renew the blog for another year.  So, I guess that means I have determined it is worth it.

Am I any wiser?  While I’m open to ideas and advice, I’ve found that not all advice works for everyone.  I’ve learned to accept that what I write about is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.  That’s okay.  In some ways, through trying different approaches and different positions, I’ve come full circle.  My instinct from the start was that I had something worthwhile to offer, and I feel that’s proven to be true.  So, perhaps, so far, this little adventure in blogging has simply confirmed what I already knew.

Rocking Motherhood

I had not heard of this #RockingMotherhood tag until Jaclyn Bree’s thoughtful nomination, inviting me to participate.  Check out Jaclyn’s blog Jaclyn Bree:  Living the Rocky Life.  Jaclyn shares creative DIY, money-saving ideas.

Soooooo, my assignment is to list some ways I am rocking this motherhood thing.  This is not easy for me, as I feel humility is always the way to go.  But, it has given me a little time to reflect and think about some things that have worked well with my kids.  In the spirit of positivity, I won’t list all of the things we’ve tried that did not go so well!

  • I read to the kids every night.  Both of my kids love books.  In fact, an extra book is a reward for taking a bath.  That started when my son was around 3-years-old.  He used to scream when I rinsed the shampoo out of his hair (it wasn’t because it was getting in his eyes – he just decided he no longer wanted water on his head).  I bribed him with an extra book if he could get through a bath without screaming.  It worked beautifully, and four years later, both kids still remind me at bedtime that they had a bath, so they get an extra book.  Now my son often reads a book to me at bedtime.
  • I make my kids somewhat responsible for figuring out how to get along with each other.  My kids fight over toys way more than I would like.  My husband and I established a rule.  If they keep their toys in their bedroom, they don’t have to share.  If it’s in the living room, they have to share.  This has provided a side benefit of them keeping fewer toys in the living room as well.  It also gives them some control over the decision-making.
  • We make a big deal of all of the milestones.  There are disadvantages to being older parents.  But, one of the advantages for our kids is that my husband and I waited a long time to have these babies, and we don’t want to miss a thing.  Whether it’s a birthday or preschool graduation, we celebrate!
  • I make sure my kids know I am happy to see them.  I got this advice from the book, “Hold On to Your Kids:  Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers” by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.  This is one part of many in creating a positive association so your kids will trust you and keep a bond with you as you guide them through childhood.  When my son was three and four, he used to greet me and be excited to see me when I got home.  My daughter still does and is.  But, now that my son is 7, he doesn’t even acknowledge me sometimes.  So, I seek him out, give him a hug and ask how his day was.
  • I force my kids to interact with adults and other kids.  My kids don’t have tablets or phones.  If we go out to dinner, they are not allowed to bring a book.  While, giving them something to occupy them so the adults can talk, might seem like a break for me, I don’t think that’s serving them well long-term.  They need to learn to function in social situations.
  • I try not to downplay compliments people give me about my kids.  When someone tells me my kids are beautiful or sweet, I agree with them.  I’ll say, “I’m not going to argue”, or “I think so too, but I realize I am biased.”  I won’t say I’ve never been guilty of saying things like, “They have their moments”, because the tendency is for us to think of them as an extension of ourselves, so we want to deflect those compliments.  But, they hear us talking about them.  They are their own people, and I want them to know I am their biggest fan, so I’m making an effort to agree about positive things said about them as much as possible.
  • We expose them to new experiences.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to take some trips over the last couple of years.  We go to a lot of zoos and aquariums.  We also visit state capitol buildings, ride trains and go to museums.  Of course, all of these things cost money.  But, there are less expensive, and even free things we can do with our kids that allow them to see new things and interact with different people.  I take the kids to the library (free!), and along those lines, our library has free passes to the local zoo.  Some of the local museums offer free kids’ days, and we often take advantage of those.  We’ve driven to different states to see family.  Driving doesn’t cost too much these days (gas prices are down now) and they get to see all sorts of new things passing through different states.

So, am I really rocking motherhood?  In some ways yes, in others no.  I’m sure all mothers have days when they feel they are totally failing, so participating in this actually did give me some needed encouragement. Thank you, Jaclyn, for the opportunity.

The #RockingMotherhood tag rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.)
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge below and add it to your post or sidebar.

I would like to nominate the following mothers for the #RockingMotherhood tag:

Belinda at Better Than Busy
Jewel at Write away, Mommy:  Becoming Better Writers and Mothers
and Dawn at Just Doing My Best

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Anti-Aging Kit Giveaway

I want this!

Sponsored By: DRMTLGY

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive: 

A $227 DRMTLGY Anti-Aging Kit!

About DRMTLGY:

DRMTLGY was started as a way to make medical grade skin care products that were only sold by doctors more convenient and more affordable by strictly selling online and eliminating all middlemen.

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Their goal is to give their customers the highest grade, highest quality, and most synergistic ingredients that work.

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 3/12 12:01 AM EST through 4/2 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received nominal monetary compensation to host this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Planning Ahead – A Virtue or a Fault?

I am a planner.  Even more surprising in this day and age . . . I use a paper Franklin planner.  I have had this leather planner since 2000.  Isn’t that incredible?  I wonder how many thousands of times that thing has been zipped and unzipped.  Other than one spot where I spilled white-out on it (another outdated tool that I still use), it looks new.

I have tried electronic planners.  I’ve lost data when they have failed.  Unless I lose or forget my planner, I know it’s going to work the way it’s supposed to.

I write just about everything down.  I do also use my Outlook calendar at work – but it’s more of a back up for the times that I accidentally leave my Franklin at home.

I’m not saying I never forget about a meeting or show up more than a few minutes late, but it is rare.

I am an individual who is prone to anxiety, and it could be argued that planning and wanting to control everything are some of the negative traits associated with those tendencies.  While I’m not sure you can ever fully eliminate all of the inclinations associated with an anxious personality, I truly feel I have largely overcome my anxiety.  I actually enjoy planning.  Weird, huh?

I like work projects that require coordinating people and events and making the pieces fit together.  We have a trip coming up, and for me, nearly half of the fun is planning the route and where to stay and what we’ll do.  But, we don’t like to plan to be somewhere at 7:00 AM.  I even include relaxation time in the plan.

It’s probably no surprise to you then, that I see planning ahead as a virtue.  However, I know there are some negatives.  My tendency to plan (some may say over-plan) can be annoying to others – especially non-planners.  Thankfully, I married someone who has the same philosophy about traveling that I do.  The flight, the rental car, the hotels, all booked in advance.  The outings can be more flexible.

Speaking of flexibility – that’s the other downfall.  I don’t like unknowns hanging over my head.  I don’t like working around other people – especially if they are not planners!  These people drive me insane!  Why do I allow other people to have this power over me?  I try not to – but it is a problem!

I feel myself getting a little tense thinking about it.  Deep breath.  Reminder – God puts people, whom we may find difficult, into our lives, to refine us.  If everyone was like I, I wouldn’t have experienced some unplanned adventures, that frankly created some of the best memories of my life.

While I appreciate the positives about spontaneity, I don’t beat myself up over my desire to plan things out.  It makes me reliable – someone others can count on.  I like that.  My husband has expressed appreciation in my ability to map out the details or of our road trips, and that makes me feel good.  Also, I don’t see it as a burden.  As I said, I enjoy it.

But, as we all know, we can’t plan everything.  I try more and more to leave a little time free, in case we need to pull over and see the world’s largest frying pan.

Cloth-Covered Corkboard for the Unskilled, Lazy DIY-er

Is DIY-er a word?  Probably not.  Oh well.

A year or so ago, I decided I really wanted a cloth covered bulletin board.  I had seen them in stores everywhere – until I wanted one.  Then, of course, I could not find one.

I attempted to order a custom-made one on Etsy, but I was told the seller couldn’t ship the size I wanted.  So I ordered one that was quite a bit smaller.  Also, when I received it, I discovered that it wasn’t a corkboard.  I can put small items under the ribbons, but tacks don’t stick.  So, I end up trying to shove large school announcements and such under the ribbons; it’s just a big old mess.

Since the whole idea of getting a bulletin board was to have a nice-looking space to post things and keep them neat, the mission was definitely not accomplished.

I was at my parents’ house recently, and learned that my Mom had this old corkboard that she wasn’t using.

A little worse for the wear, but perfect for what I had in mind . . . except one thing.  I wanted to just cover the corkboard and leave the frame exposed.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remove the frame without damaging it.  So, I had to cover the whole thing, frame and all.

The board is 2′ X 3′.  I bought a yard of fabric, which was 56″ wide, for $8.  I bought lace instead of ribbon, because it was on sale.  I thought about padding, or quilting the board, but I decided against it.  I really had no idea what I was doing, so I decided to keep it simple.

The back of the board had a wire nailed to the frame for hanging.  I removed it, and saved it to re-attach later.

The material is not necessarily my top choice, but it was on sale, and the colors work with my home’s interior.  I first rather carelessly wrapped the board in the material just to see if it was going to work.

It seemed like what I wanted to do was going to work.  I had a lot of excess material, so I tacked everything down, and trimmed some of it away to make it easier to work with.

Then I started monkeying around with the lace ribbon.  As you can see, I started with tacking an “x”.

I added 4 more ribbons total.  If I did this again, I would arrange the ribbons a little differently.  Rather than bringing the ribbon all the way to the edge, I would include additional ribbon and make the middle triangles on the sides match the width of those above and below.  They look just a little off.  I measured to make sure the center of the “x” was in the center of the board, measured that the distance of the ribbon from the edges/corners, etc., was uniform.

Also, I used ribbon of different sizes.  I thought it would make it a little more interesting (plus, the lace pack that was on sale included multiple sizes).  I would use all the same size next time.

I got my husband’s staple gun and stapled the cloth to the frame in a few places in the back.  I then stapled the ends of the ribbons in the back and stapled where the ribbons criss-crossed in the front.

 

I bought these buttons – on sale, of course.  If I do this again, I will just use regular flat buttons and cover them with the extra material.  These buttons were a little too small, and with the raised loop in the back they stuck out too far.

I used regular scissors, and managed to cut off the loops without breaking the buttons.  I would probably use a more appropriate tool next time, because I did pinch my finger.

 

I hot-glued the buttons over the staples at each place where the lace criss-crossed.

I then flipped it over and stapled the cloth to additional spots on the frame.  But then, oh the horror!  I ran out of staples!  So, I hot-glued the cloth to the frame.  I also cut off more of the excess cloth.  If I really wanted to get fancy, I could have cleaned it up by applying a fabric finish to the back.  But, it’s just for my use, so I didn’t bother.

I hammered the nails for the wire back into the frame, and voila.  I was done.

As I mentioned, the side triangles are a little off.  But, I figured once I posted things to it, the flaws would not be noticeable.

And, I was right.  This crafty stuff is not my thing.  I just wanted a board that functions like a corkboard, but looks a little prettier.  I achieved that, so while I would do some things differently next time, I consider this project a success!

 

 

 

 

 

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Roller Skating is not Like Riding a Bike – And Being Cool is Uncool

I’m sore.  I suspect the soreness will escalate to stiffness by morning.  My husband suggested we take the kids ice skating.  I told him I would come along, but I never could ice skate, and with hardware in my back now – it really doesn’t seem like a good idea.  I would be on the sidelines.  Roller skating on the other hand . . . I’m all about that.  Plus, the kids have been asking for roller skates, but I told them they needed to at least try it before we would consider buying them.

So, we went to church, then out to lunch, and then on to the roller rink.

My husband and I did not meet until age 35.  However, we are only three weeks apart in age, and grew up about 90 miles from each other.  It’s nice to be able to relate to each other, having grown up in the exact same era, in the same region.  Last year, I bought my son suspenders.  My husband said he only had one pair of suspenders.  I asked, “Were they Mork suspenders?”  “Yes.”  “I had those too.”  I don’t care who you are.  That is funny right there.  Unless you’re too young to understand the reference.

Anyway, we both thought we were pretty awesome skaters in 1980, which was probably about the last time I went roller skating.  I didn’t think it was very popular anymore, but everything old is new again.  The parking lot was full, and the place was packed.  Who knew?  We all got our skates on, and I thought it would come back to me, the way riding a bike did after not riding for many years.  Some cliches are true.  But, no.  Being on roller skates at age 45 felt very uncomfortable.  Having two falling kids holding each hand was not helping the situation.

I only fell once . . . but as I was going down I had flashbacks, and realized my last two of three falls as an adult ended in my seeking medical attention and wearing slings.  Why had I thought this was a good idea?

I saw my husband fall, and I loved him a little more in that moment.  You see, as uncool as I think skating is nowadays, there is something about it that brings out the showiness in people.  It does take some skill, and you can move pretty fast, so maybe that’s it.  We were in the center of the rink, which I thought was reserved for little kids.  But, there were people showing off, because I guess they got bored with going around in circles.  They were skating backwards and through and around people very fast.  From my perspective, they were just clogging up the area and causing hazards in a space that was supposed to be safe for learning.  I was starting to get kind of angry about it.

I have one teenage kid in mind, who thought he was pretty cool.  I did not think he was cool.  I thought my husband, forgetting his pride to fall down trying to teach his kids to roller skate was very cool.  Cooler, because I know when he was that kid’s age he was into being socially adept (one of the slang definitions of cool, according to dictionary.com).  Now, I think, the cooler you try to be, the more uncool you are.

 

 

 

 

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Make the Effort to Notice

I’ve mentioned before, I try to read the Bible every morning.  Lately, I have been reading 2 Kings.  Sometimes, I find it really fascinating.  Sometimes, I find it rather boring.  The history of the kings of Israel starts in 1 Samuel, with Saul.  I’ve continued to read these books in order, because I have become interested in this chronology.

I’m no Bible scholar.  I’m sure I miss some important information.  The names of some of these kings are very hard to pronounce, even in my head.  There were many ungodly kings, who caused Israel to sin.  Many of them were killed – sometimes by their own sons.  That usually gets my attention.

Hezekiah, one of the kings of Judah, stands out.  He did what was right, in the eyes of the Lord.  Later in his life, Hezekiah became ill and was dying.  2 Kings 20:2-6 (New American Standard Bible)  Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, saying, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterlyBefore Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.  “I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”‘”

This passage stuck with me.  I mean, that’s pretty significant – God sending a message to Hezekiah, through the prophet Isaiah, and extending his life for 15 years.  I read it a couple of times over two days, because when I returned to it, as often happens when I’m finding where I left off the previous day, I re-read a paragraph or two.

Here’s where things get weird.  A couple of weeks ago, I began helping to cover for someone in another department, who was on vacation.  I sat at a desk that was shared by a few different people.  On the first day, when I was training, I didn’t notice a plastic cup that was holding some pens.  I noticed it the second day, and I saw that it had a cross on it, which I thought was nice.  The third day, I noticed it had tiny lettering below the cross, and realized it was a Bible verse.  I took a closer look.  It was part of the verse 2 Kings 20:5.  I think it was from the NIV:  “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.”  This bothers me a little.  It’s taken out of context.  God was making this promise to a particular individual, in a particular circumstance, which is not how it’s presented here.

But, that’s not what I want to focus on.  I was floored when I saw this, because that very morning was when I read that verse for the second time.  If it had been Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV) or Romans 8:28  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”, I wouldn’t have thought too much of it.  I see these verses pretty often, and I draw on them often.  But 2 Kings 20:5?  That is not one that is quoted often, and to see it after just reading it two days in a row, when it stuck with me for the first time?  That is odd.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  I pray most mornings for God to let me feel His presence.  We have to look for those things.  I learned a long time ago, that I have to quit talking so much and keep my eyes and ears open to see and hear His presence.  When I witness something like this, I can’t ignore it.  If this is God, allowing me to feel His presence, how does He orchestrate such a thing?  Like so many things with God, it is beyond my understanding.  But, that doesn’t make it any less real.

We live on a nearly empty road in the country.  It’s part of a development, that hasn’t really developed.  But, we do have street lights.  When it’s dark, the screens in our windows make the lights look like a row of crosses.  Depending on how clear it is, the moisture in the air, who knows what else, they can look extremely brilliant at times.  I’ve tried a few times to capture this on film, but I haven’t had much success.  This is the best I’ve been able to do.

It’s more powerful in person.  As distorted as this is, hopefully you still get the idea.

God does speak to us in all kind of ways . . . through His word, song, images, events . . . if only we make the effort to notice.

 

 

 

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Book Giveaway for Mamas!

Finding Full-Time Satisfaction in Part-Time Work
(this post contains affiliate links)

Sponsored By: Beth Brykman

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

*3 Winners Will Receive*

A Copy of Beth Brykman’s New Book Titled:

The Best of Both Worlds: How Mothers Can Find Full-time Satisfaction in Part-time Work

Book Synopsis:  How can mothers bridge the gap between the worlds of “mom” and “career woman” to find work-life balance? By working part-time. This informative guide tells both stay-at-home and full-time working mothers how they can reengage or redefine their careers while still having time to care for their children. The author–a mother and a former business executive, entrepreneur, and self-employed writer–provides all the information moms need to find the ideal employment solution in today’s job market. For some women that means returning to the job market, while for others that means reducing hours with a current employer or changing jobs to obtain part-time work. The author also offers suggestions for defining personal objectives, networking, approaching job-sharing, and starting a business to help land part-time jobs.

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter

Giveaway Dates ~ 2/21 9:00 AM EST through 3/10 11:59PM EST

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. Love, Mrs. Mommy received nominal monetary compensation to host this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Play by the Rules . . . or Don’t

My kids like to play games.    I’m asked to play tag at least twice a week.  I’m old.  I’m tired.  I’m lazy.  I usually say “No.”  But, I will play catch with a stuffed animal if I can do it while lying on the couch.

My daughter loves puzzles and board games.  As long as my children refrain from fighting while we play, I can be found playing Disney Princess Candy Land, the Paw Patrol Pop Up Game, or the Dino Math Tracks Game on any given evening.

Recently, they’ve started playing this “Sly Fox” game . . . I think that’s the name of it.  We saw it on Peppa Pig the other day.  I think my son said he played it somewhere else, too.  We play it inside (this week is unusually warm, but with it being February in the Midwest, we don’t get outside much).  We have a pretty large living room, and a pretty big foyer.  So, the fox faces the front door with his or her back to everyone else.  The others start on the opposite wall.  When the fox’s back is to you, you move closer to them.  When the fox turns around, if you’re caught moving, you have to go back to the start.  Whoever gets to the fox first wins.

I give in a couple of nights a week, and join them in this game.  It’s actually kind of tedious and frustrating.  The game is nothing but judgment calls.  Does blinking count?  Talking?  The fox is allowed to turn around as frequently as he likes, and can watch you for as long as he likes.  My son gets very annoyed with my daughter.  When I’m the fox, I let a lot slide.  Everyone gets frustrated, because, of course there is some part of your body that is not absolutely still, so it’s hard to make a case that you aren’t moving.

By the time it’s my son’s turn to be the fox, he is very irritated.  He sends my daughter back for every little thing, as she had for him.  I think, “Why are we playing this?  This is not fun.”  But, the last couple of times we have played, my daughter has realized, with wisdom beyond her four years, that she can’t win.  So when my son turns his back, she gives it her all and tries to run across the room in one “go”  (my children say this British term often . . . “You can have another go!”  Don’t we say “You can have another turn!” on this side of the pond?  Must be another Peppa Pig thing).  She does not even try to stop moving when he turns around.  Instead she dives toward him.  She still can’t win, but it is hilarious.  She gets sent back and runs across the room again – yelling, falling, freaking out – but the best part is that we are all laughing at her.  I get sent back for laughing.  My son yells, between laughs, “That’s not how you play!”  Finally, we’re having some fun.  And then, my daughter says, “I’m done playing that game.”  As usual, she’s calling the shots.

I’ve mentioned our bedtime ritual in previous posts.  Tonight, my son came up with a new game at bedtime.  He informed me that the game is called “Real Word, Nonsense Word.”  You have to say a real word, and then make up a nonsense word that rhymes with it.  Some examples:  neck, bleck; face, zace; wiggle, sliggle.

What turned out to be interesting about this game is that the learning opportunities happened when their second word, which was to be a nonsense word, was an actual word.  So, the times they accidentally broke the rules were most worthwhile.  They didn’t know what the word meant, or that it was a word, and so they learned something new.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m one of those rule follower kind of people.  Always have been.  But, sometimes, when winning doesn’t really matter, it’s more fun to forget the rules and just try to grab it all in one go.

 

 

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Make Room for Pink and Butterflies

When I was in my 20’s and my friends were having kids, I had in my mind that if and when I had kids, I would wait until my children were born to find out their gender.  I also decided, if I had a girl, I would not dress her or decorate her room in pink.  I mean, girls have so much working against them anyway, why start highlighting the differences at the beginning of life?

Well, things, change.  When I got pregnant, I couldn’t wait to find what I was having and did so at my first opportunity, both times.  I do not regret it.

I had a boy and then a girl.  While I would have been happy with two boys or two girls, I feel so very blessed to be able to raise one of each.  Truly, the experience of a lifetime.

I really thought the odds of our having a girl were practically nil, as my husband comes from a long line of only boys on his Dad’s side.  So, when we found out we were having a girl, I was shocked and thrilled.

I had already revised my opinion of all things girly before I found out I was having a girl.  What’s wrong with embracing femininity?  Nothing.  Men and women, boys and girls, are different.  Period.  And that is a beautiful thing.  I don’t wear a ton of make-up, but I need to do my hair and make-up to feel like myself.  I also like to wear dresses.  That said, I occasionally have to put on a hard hat and steel-toed boots at my current job.  Looking like a girl doesn’t mean I’m not capable.

For the first two weeks of my daughter’s life, she wore pink every single day.  I loved it.  My daughter loves her princess dresses, fingernail polish and dance class.  But, she also likes soccer, matchbox cars and my son’s toy tool bench.

My daughter’s room is decorated in butterflies.  I’ve kind of made that her signature symbol.  They’re beautiful and feminine.  But they also represent to me the wonderful process of maturity and growth.  When I see clothing in her size with a butterfly, I have to buy it.  When I see a butterfly, I think of her.  Thankfully, she likes them too.

I don’t impose being girly or not being girly on her.  I couldn’t if I wanted to.  She is very strong-willed.  Her favorite color changes multiple times a day.  Sometimes it is pink.  More often, it is not.  Sometimes she decides her favorite color is white, black, or gray.  She has her own mind, and she lets her opinions be known.  I’m just glad, in the process of trying to keep up with her big brother, she also makes room for pink and butterflies.

 

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